TLDR: Marketers, writers, business owners, and programmers can all benefit from Umbraco in significant ways.
A friend of mine recently asked me this question, and I could only fit so much into a single tweet:
This seems like a pretty reasonable question to ask, and after 6 or 7 years of working with Umbraco, I feel more qualified than most to answer it. Of course, the ways in which Umbraco can improve your life vary depending on who you are, so I’ll answer this question from a number of perspectives:
Markets / Writers
I’m a Marketer / Content Editor / Writer
You are the type of person who does not care about code, so long as the computer does what you want it to do. And what you want it to do is enable you to edit your website. There are various reasons you might want this, such as:
Writing. You need to write a story (blog post, press release, etc.) and publish it to your website.
Ranking. You need to keep your site ranking well in search engine results, so you need to keep your content fresh and interesting.
Legalities. You have periodic legal requirements to update content (e.g., if you work in healthcare and open enrollment has begun).
Commerce. You have new products to list or elucidate on your website.
All of these things are made remarkably easy in a well-built Umbraco website. Here are some ways Umbraco can meet these needs:
Page Creation. You can create new pages in a few clicks.
Content Editing. You can edit any content on a page, such as text, images, links, videos, and so on. In widget based websites (a particular type of Umbraco website), you can even decide which types of content to include in which order on any page.
Automation. You don’t need to worry about the boring stuff; for example, menus, site maps, article galleries, and other aggregate content can automatically update without you needing to manually intervene (i.e., if you create a new page, it will automatically appear in the site map, menus, and article galleries).
I’m a Business Owner
Most businesses nowadays require a website. There are varying options you have available to you, ranging from free (e.g., the Medium blog I’m writing this on) to bespoke (e.g., million-dollar projects that have a custom brand strategy, custom design, custom features, and so on). Umbraco can satisfy everything on this spectrum, and it is especially useful for bespoke needs.
Some common things business owners desire:
Leads. You need customers or your business won’t grow and your profits won’t increase.
Flexibility. Businesses tend to operate in competitive environments, and so are likely to encounter a need to adapt rapidly.
eCommerce. For businesses that don’t have a physical presence, the ability to sell online is especially important.
Value. You need options that return a good return on investment and that fall within your budget.
Here’s how Umbraco can help with each of those:
Interaction. Tools like Formulate help you to build the exact forms (contact forms, newsletter sign ups, payment details) you need to build leads and enable eCommerce.
Enablement. Umbraco enables your team to do their job with fewer barriers. You don’t need to go to an expensive software developer to edit your content; content can be directly edited by any non-technical employee.
Scalability. Umbraco ranges from free to any solution you require. Blog plugins, starter kits, and themes give you somewhere to start, while a platform of unprecedented openness and extensibility gives you the ability to make anything. Umbraco always gives more then you put in, leading to excellent ROI.
I’m a Programmer / Software Developer / Engineer
As a person who appreciates a well written and documented API, you want a tool that is easy to use and doesn’t impose any limits on what you can accomplish. As a programmer myself, I am guessing you also appreciate these things out of a platform:
Automation. You want ways to automate that which is slow to perform manually.
Clarity. Undocumented and poorly written tools are time wasters.
Efficiency. You need something that can scale to the size projects you build without sacrificing speed.
Extensibility. You need software that can be modified in ways it wasn’t originally built to handle.
Here are some things about Umbraco that have made my life better, and how it can make your life as a programmer better too:
Content Management. Because Umbraco is a CMS (content management system), it is built to facilitate content entry by non-technical people. This means you can enjoy coding and leave the content entry to those who do it best.
Open Source. While Umbraco has a ton of extension points, it is also open source and has a very active and friendly community. Whatever you need to do, it can be done in Umbraco.
Documentation. Umbraco has a vast library of searchable documentation, as well as massive library of video tutorials. The many open source projects that are built on top of Umbraco also serve as a form of documentation by example. Umbraco even offers in-person training courses to get you up to speed faster.
Scalable. Umbraco is built with scaling in mind. For one, it caches content by default. Also, it supports automatic load balancing for when a single server isn’t powerful enough for all the web traffic you might encounter.
If you are one of the above personas, hopefully you are convinced enough to give Umbraco a try. If not, consider that I haven’t nearly covered all of the benefits of Umbraco. If you are interested in knowing more, you can reach out to me on Twitter or you can send me a message.
If you are beyond convinced and are ready to give Umbraco a try, it’s never been easier to get started. One option would be to get started on the Umbraco cloud, which allows you to create a website in a few clicks: https://umbraco.com/cloud
If you need a team of professionals who have built dozens of Umbraco websites for a number of very popular brands, please reach out to Rhythm Agency: http://rhythmagency.com/contact-us
We’d love to hear how we can help make your life better.